NBA: Mavericks snap 4-game slide, rout shorthanded Pacers

Luka Doncic Mavericks NBA

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks passes the ball while being guarded by TJ McConnell #9 and Andrew Nembhard #2 of the Indiana Pacers in the third quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on March 27, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Luka Doncic scored 25 points and Jaden Hardy added 20 off the bench as the Dallas Mavericks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 127-104 rout of the shorthanded Indiana Pacers on Monday in Indianapolis.

Kyrie Irving had 16 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 13, Reggie Bullock added 11, and JaVale McGee had 10 for Dallas (37-39), which shot 56.6 percent from the field and 18 of 37 (48.6 percent) from 3-point range.

The Mavericks are in 11th place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder in the race for the final spot in the play-in tournament.

Indiana (33-43) trailed by as many as 31 and lost its third straight despite rookie Bennedict Mathurin’s 26 points. Andrew Nembhard scored 17 points, TJ McConnell added 15 off the bench, and Jordan Nwora had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Indiana played without guards Buddy Hield (non-COVID illness) and Chris Duarte (sore left ankle), as well as All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton and center Myles Turner (injury management).

Doncic avoided a one-game suspension and was able to play after his 16th technical foul of the season was respinded by the NBA league office on Monday afternoon. Players automatically receive a one-game suspension after 16 technical fouls each season.

After Irving scored 11 points in the first quarter to help Dallas to a 29-27 lead after 12 minutes, the Mavericks began to take control by opening the second quarter on a 14-2 run.

Dallas led by as many as 17 late in the second quarter, but Nwora hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 59-47 at the break. Nwora and Mathurin scored 10 points apiece in the first half for Indiana, which shot 2 of 13 from beyond the arc.

Doncic provided the highlight of the night late in the third quarter with a dazzling crosscourt pass around two defenders to Hardy, who drained a 3-pointer to extend the Mavericks’ lead to 89-72.

Dallas outscored Indiana 40-27 in the third quarter and carried a commanding 25-point lead into the final period.

Doncic, who finished with seven rebounds and six assists, rested for the entire fourth quarter as the Mavericks maintained their double-digit lead.

Jalen Smith scored 11 points and Oshae Brissett added 10 for Indiana, which split the season series against Dallas at a game apiece. Isaiah Jackson had a game-high 12 rebounds.


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